Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Frog Prince

"It was his pheromones that did it. With one sniff, sex researcher Leigh Fromm recognizes that any offspring she might have with the mysterious stranger would have a better-than-average chance of surviving any number of impending pandemics.

But when Leigh finds out that the handsome “someone” at her great aunt’s wake is Prince Roman Habsburg von Lorraine of Austria, she suddenly doubts her instincts—not that she was intending to sleep with the guy. The royal house of Habsburg was once completely inbred, insanity and impotency among the highlights of their genetic pedigree. (The extreme “bulldog underbite” that plagued them wasn’t called the Habsburg Jaw for nothing.)

It doesn’t matter that his family hasn’t sat on a throne (other than the ones in their Toilette) since 1918, or that Austria is now a parliamentary democracy. Their lives couldn’t be more different: Roman is routinely mobbed by paparazzi in Europe. Leigh is regularly mocked for having the social skills of a potted plant. Even if she suddenly developed grace, charm and a pedigree that would withstand the scrutiny of the press and his family, what exactly is she supposed to do with this would-have-been king of Austria who is in self-imposed exile in Denver, Colorado?"

I know, right? Sex researcher? Uncrowned Prince of Austria? The fetch was I thinking? Well, jokes on you dudes because this one was a winner!

First of all, it was funny. Not just "heh-heh" funny. I mean, chuckling out loud on the bus funny. Not every joke hit its mark, but enough of them did that I was charmed and delighted throughout.

It's not a weighty tome and it doesn't pretend to be, so the characters and plot don't do any more heavy lifting than strictly required in a light romance/comedy (I'd say romantic comedy, but that has such...connotations.) I liked the side characters all right, through they didn't have all that much to say. I absolutely loved the protagonist. I found her charming and hilarious. She was just the right amount of awkward and self aware and she didn't spend any time fishing for compliments (ok, so she did get a little too self effacing once or twice, but in this kind of book? That's almost unheard of, dudes.) And the hero was charming too, though not in a very fleshed-out, realistic kind of way. He was super hot and smart and observant and occasionally quite funny. So, okay fine.

I think more than anything this book hit the right tone and didn't overstay its welcome. It didn't try to be something deep and sweeping, and it kept the funnies coming without becoming totally crass and horrible (such a common problem with "funny" books these days). I mean, alright yes, there was some discussion of dildos and one masturbation joke. Since both of these were related to her line of work (sex researcher, only in a totally legit, academic, various graduate degrees kind of way and not...you know...code for pornography.) I'd still recommend it to my mother. (Maybe not to your mother, but mine would totally get it.)

Rating: Three glasses of champagne!

PS. These ratings things aren't really helpful, are they? What if I give you some points of reference? Like:

5: Out of this world. I loved/hated/loved it and will be buying the hard copy stat (rare that any book gets a 5 out of me)
4: Great.  Super. You should read it! It's fantastic!
3: Nice. Glad I read that. Recomended.
2: I may or may not recommend this one, because it isn't all that great but I did like some things and it was okay so....meh.
1: Woops. Probably should not have read this one.
<1: I deserve to be ridiculed for buying this book.

Does that help? No? Well buzz off, dork. This here's my bloggity turf!

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